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Neurological examination

If your doctor (GP or A&E doctor) suspects you have a brain tumour, they will refer you to a specialist, such as a neurologist. These are specialists in brain and nerve disorders. If they suspect a child has a brain tumour, they will refer them to a paediatrician.

The specialist will:

  • Ask questions about your health
  • Give you a physical examination
  • Test your nervous system (called a neurological examination) - this involves looking at your vision, hearing, alertness, muscle strength, co-ordination and reflexes.

They may also look at the back of your eyes to see if there is any swelling of the optic disc. Any swelling is a sign of raised pressure inside the skull, which could be a sign of a brain tumour.

Hearing tests to diagnose acoustic neuromas

Acoustic neuromas can be difficult to diagnose as their symptoms can be similar to other conditions.

Diagnosis can also be delayed as the hearing loss may be put down to age-related hearing loss or exposure to high levels of noise earlier in life.

Acoustic neuromas are usually diagnosed after:

  • routine auditory tests to reveal any loss of hearing and speech decline
  • an audiogram to evaluate the level of hearing in both ears
  • tests to check your sense of balance, reflexes and the strength in your arms and legs
  • a diagnostic scan (usually an MRI), if there’s a noticeable loss of hearing in one ear.

Get support

If you need someone to talk to or advice on where to get help, our Support and Information team is available by phone, email or live-chat.

If you have further questions, need to clarify any of the information on this page, or want to find out more about research and clinical trials, please contact our team:

Support and Information Services

0808 800 0004 (free from landlines and mobiles)

support@thebraintumourcharity.org

Phone lines open Mon-Fri, 09:00-17:00

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